Can I get a 3-day notice to quit if I paid partial rent at beginning of month?

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A question by polly :  Management told me I could pay what I could afford at beginning of month due to the coronavirus. I live in california. I just received a 3-day notice to quit. Is this legal during the virus?


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Source(s): this is an academic analysis of the partial information we have and not intended as any sort of legal advice, let alone for your particular situation, under whatever actual laws may apply to whatever contact you have.

If you have “written proof” that “management told me I could pay what I could”, rather than the full rent, then they cannot legally use it against you when you take them up on their offer (i.e., a promise not to terminate if you don’t pay full rent). 

The exact interpretation and application of the laws would depend upon what your local attorneys tell you. However, as a general rule, a landlord cannot legally ‘waive’ some requirement and then turn around and try to enforce it. That’s a type of contract misconduct known as “promissory estoppel”.

If your landlord has contrived this as a way to ‘terminate’ your lease, by telling you one thing and doing another, that looks bad for them and they may fail in trying to enforce it.

Of course, they cannot legally act upon the expiration of your 3-day notice until the courts re-open for filing evictions.  You should NOT WAIT for that!   Being named as a defendant in an eviction stays on your “record” forever, making it harder to find rentals for the rest of your life.

You can try to find out if they simply “made a mistake”, by asking the landlord about it. If they say they can pursue it anyway, you can ask if they realize what this means to you and your family, and that you are considering taking legal action to prevent them from further damaging your rights.

Personally, I would ask them to correct their error immediately, in writing, and sue for an emergency restraining order to prevent them from terminating your agreement.

Your local attorneys may have more information about other ways to protect your rights under whatever sort of tenancy agreement you happen to have (lease, month-to-month, etc).

If you prefer, you could do what others suggest and simply bend over for your lying, cheating landlord, and start looking for another place to live, unless you can somehow get back into the landlord’s good graces.


“If you didn’t pay the entire rent, then you can get the 3-day notice. Covid doesn’t change that, however, if CA has a ban on evictions, then they won’t be able to evict you until the ban is over.”


“Under California law, landlords are required to give tenants a certain amount of notice before they can begin eviction proceedings. Generally, the notice period depends on the reason for the eviction. For example, if a tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord must give them a 3-day notice to pay or quit.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been temporary eviction moratoriums put in place by both the state of California and some local governments. These moratoriums generally prohibit landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19-related financial hardships, as well as for other reasons, such as the need to quarantine or isolate.

The specifics of these moratoriums can vary depending on the location and the timing, so it’s important to check with your local government and/or an attorney to determine whether the eviction notice you received is legal.

In general, though, if you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are unable to pay rent, you may be protected from eviction under these moratoriums. You should seek legal advice to understand your rights and obligations, and to explore options for negotiating with your landlord or seeking rental assistance..”


“The notice is both legal and necessary, to protect the landlord’s right to begin eviction as soon as the restriction against eviction is lifted. Depending on where you are, they can’t proceed beyond issuing that notice.”


“The Los Angeles City Council has confirmed in a vote that landlords can start evicting tenants for unpaid rent and other reasons starting February 1, 2023. The city’s COVID eviction protections, which started in March 2020, will come to an end. The emergency rules were put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for most reasons, including if the owners wanted to move into their own homes. The emergency protections have also barred landlords from raising rent in more than 650,000 rent-controlled units in the city. Although other eviction prohibitions in other cities have already ended, Los Angeles has extended its protections as leaders were worried about exacerbating the city’s underlying homelessness and overcrowding problems. However, L.A. Councilmember Nithya Raman wants additional tenant protections in place before the expiration of the city’s COVID eviction protections on Feb. 1..”


“I’d suggest paying the late rent if you can. You don’t say whether you can or can’t or just thought it would be convenient not to pay all of your rent “just because”. He is starting the process as others have said and at some point you will need to catch up on missed rent, so keep that in mind.”


“Yes, it’s legal even with the pandemic. Your landlord is starting the eviction process so that he doesn’t lose any more time when the courts reopen. Yes, it is legal…you illegally didn’t pay your rent in full on time, so you are in breach of contract and covid 19 is no excuse for breach of contract the landlord is perfectly within the law to tell you to pay or leave”


“Of course, you can, you are short on rent. They are documenting that you owe the rent.

Yes.  in Texas A 3-day notice to quit is a legal pre-requisite before a landlord can file for an eviction.  Evictions have been suspended until 5/31, but there is no law against seeking an eviction now.

That being said the landlord would have difficulty evicting you in the same month that they have accepted ANY rent, but if you are in breach of your written contract, they can evict.  And I highly suggest you avoid eviction at all costs.”


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